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  • Help and support

Building your organisation

Resources to help you run and develop your organisation
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Below is a starter list of resources to help you plan work and develop your organisation.

This is not a definitive list, and we will continue to add more resources over time. If you think there are other useful resources that we could add, please do get in touch

Governance and structure of your organisation

The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator provides information on setting up and managing your charity. This includes information on the responsibilities of your trustees, rules around fundraising, making changes to your organisation structure, reviewing your charitable status, monitoring and accounting. Even if you aren’t a registered charity, this information may be of interest.

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations has online and downloadable resources on good governance covering the responsibilities of Trustees and Executive Committee Members.

Each local authority in Scotland has a Third Sector Interface, who help the not-for-profit organisations in their area, including support on governance-related matters. Find your nearest Third Sector Interface on the Voluntary Action Scotland website.

Business Planning

Business Gateway provides guides on running a business, covering subjects such as starting up, employment, tax, marketing and growth. 

Third Sector Interfaces across Scotland host these very useful community toolkits, which include information on business and project planning.

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations has online guidance on writing a business plan, risk analysis and management and financial reserves

Just Enterprise may be able to help you with business support, procurement, start-up, and learning and development.

Free access to contract procurement opportunities is available from the Public Contracts Scotland website.

An online tool to support all levels of procurement activities in the Scottish public sector is available from Procurement  Journey

Funding Scotland provides a funding search engine to find sources of funding in Scotland.

The Institute of Fundraising hosts a community fundraising forum as a space for discussion and networking for charity fundraisers.

Voluntary Sector KnowHow have written this useful article to help you determine whether contracting is right for your organisation or activity

Strengthening Leadership

The Association of Chief Officers of Scottish Voluntary Organisations provides leadership events and conferences around voluntary sector leadership.

Scottish Enterprise in partnership with Scottish Chamber of Commerce provides a business mentoring service which could help you to grow or develop your business.

Volunteer Scotland offers training in volunteer leadership.

Pilotlight matches senior leaders from charity or social enterprise organisations with business mentors who can offer strategic support.

Managing Change

The Big Lottery Fund’s ‘Better by Design’ programme explored how an organisation can adopt an approach inspired by the design world to develop new ways of working. The programme led to A User’s Guide which is intended to inspire other third sector organisations.

Developing a Social Enterprise

Online publications are available from Social Enterprise Scotland on business planning, strategy, procurement and relevant legislation.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise offers support to social enterprises in the Highlands and Islands.

The Highlands and Islands Social Enterprise Zone runs networking events and has a set of useful links for social enterprise.

SENscot provides an online resource library of news, research and articles.

CEIS provide a number of services to social enterprises.

Scottish Enterprise runs a knowledge hub with case studies, insight articles and events covering many aspects of running an enterprise. 

Just Enterprise offers business support, development workshops, start-up workshops and training opportunities to enterprising third sector organisations.

Social Investment Scotland has information on applying for a loan and runs workshops and events for social enterprises across Scotland.

Firstport provides business support, training and funding to social enterprises in Scotland.

Social Firms Scotland provides support services for social firms in Scotland.

The New Economics Foundation provides an online toolkit called ‘Proving and Improving’ to help charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprise measure their impacts and demonstrate the quality of what they do.

Community Enterprise provide a range of support to help community organisations in Scotland become more sustainable and stable by generating income.

Running a Community Group or Project

Third Sector Interfaces across Scotland host these very useful community toolkits, which include information on a wide range of topics like setting up a group or project, managing and developing your activities, bringing in funding and looking after the people that use your services.

The Development Trusts Association Scotland has developed a range of online resources for those running community groups.

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations provide guidance on running your organisation.

Community Shares Scotland has online guidance for anyone interested in learning more about community shares, including an online handbook and a practitioner’s guide.

Scottish Community Alliance connects community groups throughout Scotland and lists existing community networks around the country.

The Community Ownership Support Service provide expert support and advice for community based groups in Scotland thinking of taking a stake in or ownership of previously publicly owned land or buildings.

Exit Strategies

At the Big Lottery Fund, we have put together some guidance and research on exit strategies and sustainability

This guidance includes these two downloadable reports; a short guide on sustainability, and a guide to factors for success in exit strategies